Germany, a magical place of history and beer. A country lined with stunning views and delicious food. I must say, I never thought I’d enjoy Munich as much as I did. And the reason is because I never knew how much it had to offer. I imagined it had loads of history but none that would peak my interest. And the fact that I considered myself to be a “wine person” and beer is what they were known for, kind of turned me off. But boy was I wrong! I have officially changed and opened my heart to beer. (lol) There isn’t one thing I have to complain about Munich. Except for maybe having to pay to use the toilet.
But let’s start with how we arrived in Munich. We traveled from Paris to Munich on a train and it was beautiful. Smooth ride, fast, even though there was some technical issue on another train causing a delay, and very comfortable. Surprisingly, the Bavarian’s who worked on the trains and at stations spoke English and were very helpful. They look like they’re mad but are actually quite nice! We received fast and clear direction even when changes were made in trains and departure times due to delays or technical issues.
In the city, it was never difficult to get around especially since much of the population in Munich seemed to ride their bicycles everywhere. It didn’t seem overwhelming or impossible to figure out how to get around. Driving was a bit more of a challenge but only because of the names of the streets. Parking wasn’t easy to find. But other than that, transportation system was great in my opinion.
This city is plagued with gorgeous architecture and flowers everywhere that makes you want to take pictures of everything you see. Yet, pictures still don’t do it justice because they cannot encompass all that is in the environment. The street music, people talking while sitting and having a beer, laughter, tourist taking pictures with family and friends, the smell of food everywhere, the sun setting and creating a swirl of pink and yellow colors in the sky that you can just see between two buildings all while standing in awe with your mouth open and camera ready to shoot but not knowing where to point it because you cannot get it all in one shot. There’s history in so many of the buildings you see while walking around that you don’t even realize it.
So what we did is book a bicycle city tour while we were in Munich. But even on bikes, it’s impossible to see it all, even though we did see a lot. We rode through the streets of Munich to find old theaters, churches, statues and monuments as well as took a small break to sit in the grass, in a beautiful park, under a tree to listen to some history of the country. We rode through one of their largest parks to get to their second largest beer garden where you had amazing food and even better beer.
The next day we rented a car and took a day trip up to the alps to visit the infamous Neuschwanstein Castle and all of it’s glorious surroundings. It’s a steep hike up to it. If you do not wish to walk/hike, you have the ability to rent a horse drawn carriage up to the castle. The scenery was spectacular.
Once inside the castle you must be careful since there’s no pictures or videos allowed, but also because there’s no leaning or sitting on anything due to the fact that almost every single item inside these 2 castles, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, are still in original condition. Meaning paintings, drapes, floors, chandeliers, items like tea pots and tea cup sets, silverware and furniture like beds, chairs, tables are all from when the king and the generations before him were there. It was astonishing to see how well preserved and how detailed they all were. They explained how and where the servants stayed within the castle and we were able to see the late king’s chambers and different living quarters for the servants.
After seeing these castles and the mysterious lake in front of them, we decided to stay in the area and see some of the surrounding towns such as Fussen. We ended up staying in a small bed and breakfast for that night called Hotel Kopa Garni in Oberammergau. It was adorably quaint and although we loved the old time charm it had to it we needed to move along. So the next day we drove around the alps along the border of Germany and Austria only to find some of the most beautiful landscapes and came across something called the “alpine coaster”.
Now THAT was cool. Apparently, in summer when these mountains aren’t covered in snow they continue to use the lifts to the top where there’s a small restaurant and a playground for children but also the entrance to the “alpine coaster”. There are a few things you could do once you’re up there like hike, mountain bike, zip lining or riding down the mountain on this metal sled that was controlled by none other than YOU. You basically hopped on and rode down on your own, controlling your own speed with the brake. It only took 5 minutes to get to the bottom but your eyes will thank you.
The last day we spent back in the city, walking around the park where people surf and swim in the natural lazy river, jumping from the walking bridges and getting refreshed away from the unbearable heat in the summer. It seemed like the whole city was in the park that day. Whether you were sunbathing, walking your pet, riding your bike, exercising or at one of the many beer gardens there, everyone was at this stunning park. I mean, the park itself is about a 3rd of the size of Central Park in NYC so I’m sure there was plenty of room for everyone.
What I enjoyed the most about Munich was that the people there were very considerate and conscious of everything. They were aware of their surroundings, the environment, the tourists, etc. But they weren’t just aware, they seemed to care deeply for the environment and their overall health. The lifestyle seemed to be very relaxed, not uptight but always striving to be better, do better for each other and everyone else too.
Germany was absolutely wonderful and I am 100% sure I will be back in the near future. So see you soon Germany! But until then, AUF WIEDERSEHEN!